VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
MINISTER of Defence Richwell Siamunene has appealed to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to commit itself to Governmentâ€™s cause to make the lives of the majority poor citizens bearable.
Mr Siamunene urged ZNS officers to do their best and make the country proud.
The minister was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he flagged off the heavy-duty land development branch equipment at ZNS.
Mr Siamunene said the purchase of the earth-moving equipment signals the beginning of the work of improving rural road infrastructure.
â€œAs President Lungu said when he commissioned the equipment, the majority of our rural population have difficulties to transport their farm produce and to access basic services such as health due to poor road infrastructure,â€ Mr Siamunene said.
He said the situation has impacted negatively on national development as small- scale farmers and entrepreneurs have been unable to contribute significantly to national food security.
â€œIt should be borne in mind that this equipment has been procured at a great cost and the expectations of our people are very high,â€ Mr Siamunene said.
He said Governmentâ€™s wish is to have the benefits of the equipment trickle down to ordinary citizens.
The minister implored the officers to go and rehabilitate and construct good and durable roads and other infrastructure that will stand the test of time.
And deputy commandant Major General Alick Kamiji said the equipment has been equitably distributed to the 10 provinces to meet the various land development demands.
â€œWe appreciate the confidence that government has shown in the service by entrusting this equipment which has been procured at great costs,â€ Major General Kamiji said.
He told the minister that ZNS will strive to fully utilise the equipment so that the benefits could be felt by the majority of the Zambian people.
â€œWe will not allow this equipment to be used for selfish ends to the detriment of national development by anyone from within or outside the service,â€ he said.
VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka